A Long Legacy of Peace
CISV is a global organization dedicated to educating and inspiring for peace through building inter-cultural friendship, cooperation and understanding. In more than 60 years CISV has given countless children and young people the experience of their lives and the opportunity to build lasting friendships through its international educational programs. CISV aims to help its participants develop the skills they need to become informed, responsible and active global citizens and make a difference in their communities and the world. The glue that underpins all of its programs is friendship, in line with its founding belief that peace is possible through friendship and mutual understanding. CISV offers seven international programs for adults and youth, starting at age 11.
About the Founder
In late 1940s, a progressive child psychologist named Dr Doris Allen developed the concept of an organization that would foster inter-cultural understanding and friendship as an essential step toward world peace. Doris Allen believed that by creating opportunities for children of different cultures to come together to learn and make friends, they would grow up to become ambassadors for a more just and peaceful world.
In just a few years, with much hard work on the part of volunteers and supporters, Dr. Allen’s idea had become a reality. Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV) was registered as a non-profit corporation in Ohio in 1950. The first Village program was held in Cincinnati in 1951, bringing together young people from Austria, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Sweden and USA.
Where we are today
Over the years, beginning with that first Village, CISV volunteers have organized more than 6,000 international programs for almost 300,000 participants.
Since 1950 the world has changed, and CISV has evolved along with it. Today, CISV offers experiences to people of all ages, starting with children aged eleven, through to young adults. In the spirit of Doris Allen’s original vision, CISV aspires to be a unique and pioneering organization. CISV has grown from one program model to international programs; from one Village to more than 200 program-events a year, involving more than 8000 participants.
CISV continues to grow, guided by its founding belief that a more just and peaceful world is possible through inter cultural exchange, education and friendship.